clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cincinnati Bengals winners and losers against the Pittsburgh Steelers

New, comments

We had intended to do winners and losers this weekend and unfortunately, we had way more losers than winners. Dare I say... we had an entire team of losers? No, there was some positive.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

WINNERS

A.J. Green: For the first time in his career, A.J. Green surpassed the 200-yard mark by generating 224 yards receiving on 11 receptions. Green's 56-yard reception, with 10:27 remaining in the second, led to Jermaine Gresham's 10-yard touchdown, which tied the game at seven. Green added an 81-yard touchdown reception to give Cincinnati a 21-17 as the third quarter expired.

Andy Dalton: At one point during the game, Dalton was threatening another personal-best in terms of passer rating but eventually everyone, including Cincinnati's starting quarterback lost their steam. Regardless, Dalton completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 302 yards passing and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the fourth quarter fumble between he and Jeremy Hill was a game-changer and despite Pittsburgh going wild on the Bengals defense, Dalton's offense was sapped with three straight punts. On the other hand, the 20-yard read-option run ignited the entire team... at least for a little while. We'd be alright with labeling Dalton as a "draw".

LOSERS

Pass Rush: I'm not sure how long Ben Roethlisberger had in the pocket, but Cincinnati's pass rush never forced the issue. Ever. No sacks. One quarterback hit. In fact, Cincinnati's pass rush has undergone quite the reversal... from a proud strength to an absolute embarrassment. Over the last five games, they've recorded two sacks. They've secured two sacks or more in only five games and only once have they reached the three-sack milestone. Last year, they hit three sacks or more in NINE games. Joke.

Bengals Defense: Entering this season, Cincinnati had allowed 500 yards or more in 16 games throughout their franchise history. And the last time that they allowed 500 yards or more was during Cleveland's 51-45 win over the Bengals in 2007. Cincinnati allowed 543 yards to Pittsburgh on Sunday, which is the third time this season that the Bengals defense has allowed 500 yards or more (Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns).

Rushing Offense: Despite the game-changing fumble (not that it was his fault), Hill averaged 5.8 yards/rush with 46 yards rushing on eight carries. Unfortunately, Hill didn't have a carry in the third quarter and his three-yard fourth quarter run occurred right before the fumble. Hill added a 13-yard run late in the fourth but the game had already been decided. Giovani Bernard added 17 yards on six carries. Cincinnati's running game was a snoozer. Well, no one actually hit the snooze button.

Entire Team: We get that things happen, like the fourth quarter fumble between Dalton and Hill. That will happen. That's life. That's football. Whatever. But it says something when a team collapses the way the Bengals did after the fourth quarter fumble.